Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dec. 7 - The Tudors

As I seem to do with a lot of things, I came into this show late.  Well, after it was done in fact.  I was well aware of it when it was current but we didn't have Showtime and really, I was under the impression it was just a total pornfest so I never gave it much consideration.  For some reason, earlier this year I decided to go ahead and give this show a try.  I ordered the first disc from Netflix and wasn't at all surprised to slapped in the face with boobs and butts pretty much right off the bat.  I was surprised, however, at how fast I was hooked despite that!  We went ahead and bought the complete dvd set.

Now, I will admit that I don't know much about British history or royal history.  I mean, sure, we've all heard of Henry VIII and all of his wives.  Anne Boleyn is a pretty common character too.  I *always* remember in the movie Steel Magnolias, when Clairee says Anne Boleyn had eleven fingers and one of the other girls asks who Amber Lynn is.  I was pretty much the same, had no clue.  It wasn't until many years later that my interest started to turn to this time and place in history.  I don't recall now what started it but I do know that I had watched the movie The Other Boleyn Girl and was fascinated.  I know I had read a book around that time that was also about this general time in history, and it sort of took off from there.

I'm still a complete history noob in this area but I have been reading more books that seem to be connected to the Tudor times, and continue to be fascinated.  I don't know how accurate the show is . . . I guess it would depend what historian you want to believe anyway . . . but this post is going to be about *the show.*

First, it is a *beautiful* show.  Wow . . . the costumes, the places, the scenery . . . it is fun to watch.  Some of the sex is a little 'Really?  We needed that?' but I was so glad to see the frequency of it slowed way down after the initial rush. 

Anne . . . hated her at first.  I think we're supposed to, aren't we?  I hated the bitch that the character was.  I hated the actress playing her, her constant snotty little smirk mouth, her look, everything.  By the end of her time on the show though, I had really warmed up to her.  She was such a huge part of the show and the story.

Henry . . . there is a hotness about Jonathan Rhys Meyers that I never knew existed.  Too bad he is apparently the UK's messed up bad boy like we have Charlie Sheen.  As Henry though, at times you hate him and at times you feel bad for him.  He's so 'I'm the king of England!!!!!' like that can get him anything, but when things are falling apart all around him you kinda feel bad because he doesn't know any other way.  Everyone had been filling his ear about how bad Wolsey was, how he would be the downfall of everything, and then after Wolsey is removed you see things really start to crumble and Henry screams at all those people that . . . basically . . . whatever Wolsey was, these people suck more. 

There is one scene during the happy days of Henry courting Anne where they are going out for their morning ride, Anne already on her horse when Henry comes out and smiles and says "Good morning, sweetheart."  Awww, I could watch that one little bit over and over.  He's so polite and charming and gentle there.  It's visually beautiful.  Ah, it's just one of those random little things that strikes you and sticks with you.  Love it.  And in that very same scene Cardinal Wolsey is trying to walk out to meet Henry and is stopped by the guards because this is the start of his downfall.  He's crying out to Henry, pleading in a confused sort of panic, and Henry just ignores him rides away ... like a bastard.

And Henry was so in love with Anne for so long while he fought to have her, it was sad to see how fast that died away and he moved on to the next one.

Charles Brandon . . . did not like this character early on, thought he was just a manwhore bully.  Along with the couple scenes mentioned above, one I will always remember is when his first wife (Henry's sister) dies a horrible death while he's out banging some skanky ho.  He sort of fell out of favor with Henry for a while after that, and he sort of settled down after that too.  I grew to really like him.  He was happily married and doing his job, and was just a super cute guy!  And then he ruined it all by putting up no resistance to the foreign slut who threw herself on him in the barn.  I was sooooo disappointed in him for that!
Ohhhh. Em. Gee.
(Sheri - He is Theseus in Immortals.)

Thomas Moore . . . I liked this character, liked the actor.  This is probably going to have everyone screaming at me but I got soooo mad that he wouldn't just take the damn oath!!  I understand he felt it was going against his principals or whatever, but those who knew him knew how he really felt even if he would have taken the oath to please the king.  HE would have known how he really felt, and since he'd said he would go quietly away and live his life in private it's not like he would have been forced to live a lie every day at court or something.  Take the oath, make the crazy king happy, and go on with your life knowing what YOU truly believe.  I mean, yeah, I understand the whole standing up for your beliefs and stay true to yourself but I guess I'm just not that dedicated or something spineless like that.  It's the same with so called martyrs today, dying for their cause, suicide bombers . . . give your life to 'prove a point.'  I think you can accomplish far more alive than dead.  Ooooohhhhhh, I was just so mad at Thomas Moore for this.

Catherine . . . really grew to love her.  At first I didn't know if we were supposed to feel bad for her or be mad at her.  Early on I thought she was just being stubborn.  I was like 'Come ON, woman, take a hint.  This is going nowhere.'  She was always so poised and composed though, and there is one scene where she's coming out of court or church or something and the people just adore her.

There are plenty of other characters too but those were some of my favorites.  I'm not sure how I feel about Cromwell.  I didn't like him at first, then he grew on me, but now I'm not sure anymore.  Anne's father was an ass all around.  When he was in prison and fearing he'd be executed along with the rest of them, then sort of giggled when he found out he was being released, I loved how Charles threw him up against the wall and got in his face, asking him if it was worth it to him, if he'd watched his son die.  And what a bastard when he was released and turned to look back and Anne was waving and he just walked away . . . knowing she was about to die.  I'll need to Google him and see what happened to him after that.  I hope it was miserable.  Gah!

I had wondered what the show would be like after Anne's execution, which came at the end of the second season.  I certainly don't know any of the history after that, just that Henry continued to marry and behead wives . . . hehe.  And sure enough, I'm only a couple episodes into the third season and there is a definite change.  He's married to this lovely lady Jane now and she's all about peace and trying to reconcile Henry and his daughter Mary.  I Googled her and thought her story would continue to keep the show drama filled and end with sadness because she gives Henry the all-mighty male heir but dies in the process, but so far the focus of this season is the religious battles and that is something that I can never keep straight in my head.  I also don't like that so many of the familiar characters are gone now, and the new ones they've brought in just seem to try too hard to be cool.  The eye-patch pirate bandit bully guy?  Please.  The king's new whore?  Please.  I will continue to watch though and hope it can get back to something as powerfully addicting as it was up to this point.

Again, I don't know how accurate the show is historically speaking.  I'm pretty darn sure the people were not all beautiful like they are in the show . . . LOL!  So I will continue to just go with it and lose myself in the show, the characters, the stories.

How about you?  Did you watch The Tudors when it was on?  Did you catch it later like me?  What are your thoughts on the show, or on the real history if you're a history geek?  I'm all ears on this one.


  1. Nopers, I didn't watch The Tutors. My friend did and she was totally absorbed in it. I read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (I love historical fiction); I think you'd also like it since it's about the Tudors.

  2. I have that book and am anxious to read it but keep bumping it down the stack, probably because I've seen the movie. I have a couple other Philippa Gregory books too.


  3. I never watch a movie until I've read the book. If I see the movie it ruins the reading experience for me and I won't read it.

    Have you read anything good lately?

  4. I've been struggling in the reading department for a while now. I was reading The Virgin's Lover (Philippa Gregory) and was enjoying it but then got sidetracked by The Secret Circle books, which are quite sucky but I had started watching the show and thought it would be fun to read the books. (I was wrong. LOL)


  5. Ok.... six years after you posted this... so... no I did not watch it when it was popular. LOL! But I am loving it. I cannot stop binge watching. I am barely keeping myself away form it right now. I think it was incredibly brave and honorable for Thomas to stay his course, though incredibly frustrating. Cromwell is one I like but based on my love for Wolf Hall. I want to watch that series next. Ok. Loving your synopsis so far. Going to wait to read the Final Thoughts post when I am done. By the way... so not fair the men have these amazing necklaces. Those jewels!! I want to wear one.

    1. It was fun rereading my two Tudor posts. I'd forgotten so much! Now that we've dumped Netflix again, watching The Tudors again is one of my goals.

      I can never remember, did you see White Queen and are you watching White Princess?